Music Video of the Day: I Predict by Sparks (1982, dir. Doug Martin & Steve Martin)

Or is directed by David Lynch?

Back when I went through all the David Lynch music videos, I specifically mentioned this one because it is frequently credited to David Lynch. If you do a Google search, then you’ll turn up lots of reviews and lists of Lynch music videos that include it. Even Wikipedia disagrees about it. If you go to the list of David Lynch music videos, then it’ll say he directed it. However, if you go to the article written about the song and video, then you’ll find out that it wasn’t. That article cites a book called Talent Is An Asset: The Story Of Sparks by Daryl Ealesa. It says the video was directed by Doug Martin and Steve Martin in the style of Lynch. I haven’t read it yet. Regardless, I just bought it so I can provide you with an excerpt covering it:

‘I Predict’ came with a striking video that fell foul of the conservatism of MTV. Directed in the style of David Lynch by group friends, identical twins and occasional actors Doug and Steve Martin, it is crammed full of strangeness. Shot in a dimly lit bar outside LA, Ron, in drag, develops the bride theme from the album’s cover with Russell still wearing the cover’s wedding suit. And Ron is stripping. And Russell is watching. Something is clearly not right. With the attendant promotion and the video’s notoriety, ‘I Predict’ reached number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sparks had finally achieved a US Top 100 single after a decade of trying.

Below is the album cover the excerpt speaks of:

The funny thing is that despite being mis-credited to David Lynch, it does have a connection to him beyond being done in his style. David Lynch made a music video for the song Thank You, Judge by his group called BlueBOB that was made up of him and Jeff Neff. At the end of that music video, you have Eli Roth and Naomi Watts laughing at Jeff Neff about to receive an anal probe. Anyone who has watched Cabin Fever (2002) and David Lynch’s work, knows that from the opening to the very end, you’d be thinking of Lynch regardless of whether you knew there was any connection between them. From the Blue Velvet (1986) style opening credits to Party Cop to the person in the rabbit suit. There’s even a thanks to him in the credits. 7 years later, director Ti West made a sequel that is basically a lover-letter to 70s and 80s exploitation films. I watched all the Cabin Fever movies recently, and something caught my eye in the credits on Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009). They used the Sparks song Eaten By The Monster Of Love, which is from the album, Angst In My Pants, that includes the song I Predict. Even without having directed this video, Lynch is still connected to it beyond the use of his style in the video.

David Lynch being credited for this in so many places doesn’t surprise me. I have a copy of Madonna: The Immaculate Collection. It’s a compilation of her early music videos. It lists Mary Lambert as the producer of Borderline–not the director.

You’d think that would be pretty definitive. In fact, there’s a reference to Star Wars in Pet Sematary II (1992)–Bruce Logan having done visual effects on Star Wars.

However, if you read the book I Want My MTV, then you get information straight from Lambert and others that she did indeed direct Borderline.

The point is that it’s easy for this stuff to get confusing, and as a result, you can end up with these kinds of situations.


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